Gracefully cruising through the mirror like Valliyaparamba backwaters in the untouched heart of North Kerala, the Lotus Houseboat is an ode to the beauty and grace of the flower and God’s own country.
An initiative of the Chapri Group of Resorts and Hotels who own the tranquil and majestic “Neeleshwar Hermitage”, The Lotus jetty is just a 15 minutes drive from the Hermitage. An ever smiling team of hardworking staff greets you with a wonderfully curated welcome drink and takes you to your room.
There are two rooms called “Sukhima” and “Lalima” meaning happiness and beauty respectively. The rooms are aesthetically beautiful and unbelievably comfortable for a houseboat. Walk in rain showers, a huge private verandah with fan, an ipod docking system and a huge bay window by your bed welcomes you with the smell of fresh flowers.
As the cruise starts you feel the fresh water breeze. Enjoy a panoramic view of the backwaters and the villages it crosses either from the comfort of your room, the magnificent sun deck or the lounge.
It's time for its first stop, a local coir factory run by the locals. Enjoy this interesting visit after which lunch is served on board which is a delightful combination of north Indian and south Indian cuisine with some amazing sea food.
Late afternoon and the water glitters like gold. As you doze off in your room with some afternoon music from the iPod, you suddenly feel a gush of cold breeze in your room. As you look out you see the ocean towards the left of the boat, a beautiful melage of water colours as the backwaters kiss the ocean. The second stop is a local handloom factory which is a 15 minutes walk through a local village. Back on the boat for a high tea with banana fritters, cookies and onion pakoras you are then greeted by a magnificent sunset when the water is coloured with orange fire and the sky turns lilac and then the deepest orange I have ever seen.
The boat anchors in the middle of the water and you are most welcome to enjoy a drink on the deck which soon becomes a favourite place for stargazers. The evening prayers from distant temples, beautiful bird calls and a starlit sky prepares you for dinner which is served under a starlit sky. Back to your room you are lulled to sleep by your comfortably air conditioned room and the gentle cradle of the backwaters.
Wake up early morning to witness an incomparable dawn as the sun rises behind a railway bridge with the Ezhi Elimala range behind it. Quite a picture postcard image unfolds in front of your eyes. After you soak in the sunrise, morning tea is either served in your room or the deck.
The boat starts cruising again and takes the way back. Hear the villages wake up, wave to the smiling kids at the ghats, cheer the boatmen passing by and sense a simple and fulfilling life we crave for everyday.
Soon after you finish a hearty breakfast the boat approaches the jetty and you are dropped off safely. (For people who want a two night package there's a longer route which takes you closer to the Ezhi Elimala range.)
The Lotus is a experience in itself. Something which will surely add a lot of peace and tranquility to your life. Do experience it atleast once in your life if not more. It's beautiful to say the least.
Address: Thejaswini River, Purathekkai, Thaikadappuram, Via, Nileshwar, Kerala 671314
Phone: 0124 401 0072
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